The Point: With all the latest-greatest innovations in leadership development, have you positioned yourself as a leader to fully capitalize on those offerings? If you’re like most of the leaders that we engage with at Tip of the Spear, the answer is a disappointing “No.” Even with so many “bells” and “whistles” available, there also seems to be an avoidance of returning to “simple” leadership moments (You know, the ones that reflect 2+2=4 in management decision making – and basic math!) In this post, we’ll point out three (3) ways in which you can become “simpler” (and that’s a good thing)… Enjoy!
At Tip of the Spear, we view Leadership development is a “continuous improvement” process. One where even leaders performing at the peak of their “game” realize that there is no finish line. However, along those lines there seems to be missing the “simple” moments. Therefore, here is a list of three Simple Leader Rules to aid you in adding “simpler” to your routine as a leader:
Simple Leader Rule #1 – Be Prepared
We believe that a prepared mind encounters no new obstacles (and as Louis Pasteur stated in the 1800’s “Fortune Favors the Prepared Mind.”) So what should you prepare for as a leader? Here is a list of our favorite learning moments from the past week that a leader stated in one of our Centered Executive Coaching sessions:
- Know where you’ve been? – What happened yesterday, and knowing what you know now versus then what would you do the same/different?
- What are your short-term goals? – These are most pressing to accomplish within the three month to one year timeline. As such, keep them front/present in your vantage point and allow those activities/decisions to be forefront in your leadership moments.
- What are your long-term goals? – While the timeline for these is typically greater than one year (or twelve months out), these “larger” items should also be reflected/considered in the short-term decisions you make.
- Delegate, Delegate, Delegate! – Yes, you will be called on throughout each day to put out the occasional (hopefully!) fire. Know that this is the opportunity to delegate to your senior leadership the responsibility to put out such fires. Keep in mind that you will have to “buckle-back” and hold these leaders and subordinates accountable for their decision making/actions taken.
Simple Leader Rule #2 – Plan Your Day
If you don’t plan your day, your day will plan you! Here is a list that you should include in the final thirty minutes of every workday (copy/paste into your electronic calendar, and set it to repeat Monday through Friday, or whatever your work-week looks like):
- Things to do
- People to see
- Places to go
- People to contact
- Things to discuss with others
- Things to delegate to others
During the this planning activity, ensure that you:
- Recap the day (check off as complete or reschedule items on your To Do list)
- File all new items, information, commitments
- Plan the next day using the list above
- Arrive home on time with next day planning preparedness
Simple Leader Rule #3 – Keep It Simple!
Back to the example that we provided in The Tip overview for this post, that being 2+2=4. If you know this to be true (and if you don’t we might have even larger problems), then why would you believe anything else to be the case? We typically see leaders that even in knowing that 2+2=4 accept from their senior leadership results/effort/energy that is typically short (2+2=3?) and rarely long (2+2=5?). If the basics of math hold true repeatedly (don’t even get us started on the laws of physics and an object in motion!), then why would you accept moments that are deviant of anything but?
There’s something to be said about the leader with prepared mind that plans their day. More times than not, they are more successful. Now there have been those that in spite of their best planning efforts have come up shy, we see this as a short-term occurrence (in other words it’s not permanent). As such, we hope that as a leader you simplify your day/week/month/year(s) in order to succeed.
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